As the hours and minutes close in on another trip around the sun for me, I'm reminded to reflect on my life and its changes in the last year. Particularly in the last 6 months - my life has been a roller coaster ride of growth and transformation that I am very grateful to be riding into as I approach the halfway point of my 30's (Jesus that's weird to think of). For those of you close to me, you know the stories and events that helped shaped this period because you were also right there with me or have been in similar situations.
In May of this year (2018), I was fired shortly after giving my employer a 6 month notice - ending a 7 year period of my career and plunging me into the world of self-employment unexpectedly. It was way before I thought I was "ready," but as I've learned time and again - you are always ready when it is given to you despite what you feel in the moment.
I had about 1 month of expenses saved up and my world was, temporarily, flipped upside down from this change. The details do not matter, but I vowed to myself that day that things were going to be different. I decided this would be the beginning of something profoundly new, and so called the doors of destiny to open wide so I could begin walking through them.
It has been a hell of a ride since then - only 4 months at the time of this writing - and this is just the beginning. In May I vowed to myself that I would, by my 34th birthday in October, make $10,000 in one month and be debt free. That was my goal. I had never made that much money in my life, and I knew that if I could pump it into someone else's wallet, I certainly could do it for myself. I do not brag about my money or belongings, but dear friends I am also filled with pride and accomplishment to share with you that I indeed made my goal this last month in September. With just a few months of being on my own and pursuing my Truth freely, I have been blessed and rewarded to make over $10,000 last month as I had set my mind to - and it's awesome.
For some of you this may not seem like a lot, and for others it may seem like a pointless brag.
Money comes and goes and in the end the number is meaningless. But, for me, it is so much more than a number. I checked the earnings for my old job for the first half of the year the other day because I had to apply for health insurance - and you know what? I made more money last month than in 6 MONTHS of working for someone else, with probably half of the time invested on top of it all. It blew my mind. Imagine doing this for nearly a decade with no raise! It is nobody's fault except my own for being inactive in pursuing my own freedom and independence, and in this regard I am grateful that the Universe moved things along the way it did.
Making that amount of money, for me, was a turning point. It meant that my time was finally valued, that I could have freedom financially and with my schedule and it meant possibility and vision. It wasn't about the number - it was about what it meant when I'd reach it.
With all that said, I had two very curious experiences happen to me in the last two weeks as I approached my birthday goal which prompted me to create a post and share with you these thoughts. The first is captured in the attached picture with the fortune and the coins. I was walking back from getting my blood drawn one morning and, in the rocks on a patch of yard, I noticed a small piece of paper turned over. For most this would look like garbage but, for me, it was something else. I recognized its shape because I drink Yogi tea all the time - it was a Yogi tea fortune. They collect responses from people from all over the world and put them in their tea bags. These cute little fortunes are attached to the end so that when you are steeping your tea you can read them.
"No freakin' way..." I said to myself. "If this has anything to do with my current situation, I'm going to flip." The "current situation" was actually whether I wanted to tip the valet guy that had parked my car. You see, I only had $100 and $10 on me, and I was being very stingy that morning. I hadn't wanted to park valet, but in the end it was the only option. The guy at the front told me I didn't need to tip him, that it was for our convenience, but I still felt guilty. On my way down the stairs from the lab, my mind raced back and forth and what it would mean if I didn't tip the guy and so on. I had so much money coming in, how could I be so greedy? The war raged on and, in a moment of Stillness, I saw that little piece of paper on the ground. Do you know what it said? Read closely in the picture:
"If we give happiness to others we will end up happy."
I couldn't believe it. What are the odds?? There was just no freakin' way. I then heard a voice inside tell me, "You don't have to give the $100, but you have to give the $10. It will make a difference for him, trust Me." I gave the guy my $10 willingly and joyfully, and it made my day.
While I was still high on this experience (I kept the fortune and I'm going to put it in a locket one day), another experience happened that blew me away totally. There are no coincidences, the Universe has a sense of humor, and we are always being spoken to. The matter is just whether we are listening or not.
On a Friday afternoon I went to attend an event that was put on for authors who are trying to launch their book and do speaking tours. As you all know, I am writing a book too and one of my goals is to create a TED talk type of presentation using dance, movement and personal growth. (Shameless plug) I call it "Dance Your Way Through Life - Navigate Life's Changes with Grace and Power." Either way, I heard about this event and, although it didn't sound too promising - my schedule got cleared that night (which it never does) and I figured it was a sign from the Universe.
After the Yogi tea fortune I was listening.
I went to this event and, for the great part of the beginning up until nearly the very end, it was a major disappointment. It seemed to me to be almost a ruse of some kind - I was under the impression that at least two dozen people would show up as an audience and what ended up happening was a videoing shoot with nobody there except me and the 3 or 4 authors who had signed up to have a booth. The energy was a little weird and I found myself sitting through some lackluster presentations asking the Universe, "What the hell am I wasting my time here for?" There was one more speaker left and, after deciding that it would be rude to leave, I figured give her the benefit of the doubt and keep my attention going for another 15 minutes.
She started speaking and I became a little more interested. The fact was that she was a much better presenter than her previous fellows and it got my attention. To make a long story short, she began talking about what drives us in life. What makes us happy? And then, the killer line-
"Even if you have some ridiculous goal, like making $10,000 a month, that's not what life is about. It's about giving back to people and finding what really lights you on fire."
She looked in my general direction and I tried to contain my bulging eyes as another great message had been delivered. Again, I couldn't believe it. After the talk I said my goodbyes and drove home in silence, pondering the happenings in the last week. I had made it, I thought. I made my goal. Now what? I was never about money or material possessions, and certainly everyone who knows me knows that I give and put my heart in what I do - but these experiences, especially in tandem with one another, were orchestrated so beautifully that I couldn't help but to share.
As a new chapter turns in my life, I put the past behind me in many ways. This is not just another year, this is the end of a 15 year journey for me that began when I first started dancing. The new one is right around the corner and, while I don't plan on quitting dancing any time soon, the point is that I am finally free to be and do as I please. It is a new chapter of confidence, abundance and freedom. And in that new chapter, as I reach milestones that I have never even thought possible before, I am reminded beautifully and elegantly that the ultimate wealth comes from giving. You must always give, give, give. Work hard, play hard and give hard. My next financial milestone is to pay my condo off and my parents' house off so that we can all be debt free for good. One of those for certain will be achieved in the next year, if not before that.
As I grow older, write my book and are blessed with such experiences that I've shared with you, I am reminded of Impermanence. My book centers around this idea and it is a fundamental part of our existence. Nothing is forever. You can't take your riches (or your poverty) with you when you leave. This life is a game, you've already won by being here so you can make choices and experience. It is truly amazing. Some of those choices do not lead to pleasant experiences, but in the words of one of my role models Tony Robbins, "There is no failure, only results." Everything leads you to everything else, and in my pursuit of freedom I was lead back to giving that freedom to others.
I will give a shoutout at this point to a special person who has helped me on a spiritual level through these changes and that is Lee Mudro. She has some extraordinary gifts of intuition, healing and manifestation through something called the Emotion Code. I genuinely believe that many of the changes that I have experienced that have accelerated my journey in the last few months have been due to my work with her. I have seen it work on myself and my friends for a variety of concerns from letting go of old baggage, to physical concerns to manifestation of an outcome. Emotions are powerful doorkeepers to our destiny. I will not explain it any more, but if you are curious PLEASE check her out. She is honest, loving and very talented and I want her to be successful because the world needs more of what she can do.
The adjacent picture is me with Fran, a 94 year old cutie from Sun City that I see on occasion when I go up there to do some dancing. She is almost 3 times my age, can dance both the man and woman's parts, is sharp as a knife and full of exuberance. She, among many other wonderful people that I have met there and otherwise in this new journey, is a reminder about what life is about and how it should be lived.
As I turn 34 and welcome this new journey, I want to share how grateful I am to have it be alongside the rest of you. We are all making the world a better place and I am excited for what the next year has in store because there's going to be some big shit on the way for all of us. Thank you for being in my life.